We believe that a high-quality Maths education provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically and an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics.
At Shillington Lower School we embrace the Maths Mastery approach to teaching Maths which develops the children’s ability to:
- Become fluent in the fundamentals of Maths
- Reason mathematically
- Solve problems by applying their mathematical knowledge and understanding.
These skills are embedded within Maths lessons and are developed consistently over time. We are committed to ensuring children recognise the importance of Maths in the wider world and that they are able to use their mathematical skills and knowledge confidently in their lives in a range of different contexts and subjects.
Our Maths Mastery approach means children acquire a deep, long term, secure and adaptable understanding of the subject. The emphasis is on understanding the mathematical concepts rather than memorising lots of procedures which if not understood can easily be forgotten.
Underpinning our Maths Mastery approach is the belief that all children can achieve in Maths which promotes resilience and a growth mindset to keep going and to learn from mistakes when faced with challenge.
We achieve this by using the Maths Mastery approach to teaching Maths. The school is currently on a journey to embedding this Maths Mastery approach across the school. As such, Shillington Lower School along with our federated school, Stondon Lower, are working alongside the Engima Maths Hub, Milton Keynes following a three-year Maths Mastery programme.
We strongly believe that adopting this mastery approach will help us to be more effective and successful in delivering our mathematical intent and raise attainment and enjoyment in Mathematical learning throughout the school.
Maths Mastery places emphasis on the cumulative mastery of essential knowledge and skills in Maths therefore our Maths programme of study builds upon learning from the previous year ensuring progression and a secure and enhanced understanding.
Maths is taught on a daily basis and an increasing number of key principles of the Maths Mastery approach are evident within lessons:
- Teachers reinforce an ethos that all children are capable of achieving high standards in Maths which encourages and develops a growth mindset.
- The large majority of children progress through the curriculum content at the same pace. (Differentiation is achieved though individual support and intervention and challenging and deepening understanding).
- Use of CPA approach
- Precise questioning to test conceptual and procedural knowledge and assess children regularly to identify those requiring intervention.
- Children communicating and developing mathematical language.
To support teachers and ensure consistency and progression, the school uses the DfE approved ‘Power Maths’ scheme to deliver lessons. The school’s ongoing engagement with the DFE funded Maths Hubs programme continues to ensure that staff understand the pedagogy of the Maths Mastery approach.
New concepts are shared within the context of an initial related problem, which children are able to discuss in partners. This initial problem-solving activity prompts discussion and reasoning, as well as promoting an awareness of maths in relatable real-life contexts that link to other areas of learning. Teachers use careful questions to draw out children’s discussions and their reasoning. The class teacher then leads children through strategies for solving the problem, including those already discussed. Independent work provides the means for all children to develop their fluency further, before progressing to more complex related problems. Mathematical topics are taught in blocks, to enable the achievement of ‘mastery’ over time. Each lesson phase provides the means to achieve greater depth, with more able children being offered rich and sophisticated problems, as well as exploratory, investigative tasks, within the lesson as appropriate.
We know it is successful because children develop a positive attitude towards maths that enables them to achieve. A child’s attitude and mindset can be the difference between them underperforming or achieving in Maths. A child who believes they are no good at Maths or can’t do it are few and far between at Stondon Lower School. Our approach to teaching Maths addresses these preconceptions by ensuring all children experience challenge and success in Maths and develop a growth mindset. This attitude towards Maths is testament that our approach to teaching Maths is having a positive impact.
Evidence of children becoming more competent mathematicians who can articulate and reason using correct mathematical language long after a concept has been taught further demonstrates a positive impact of our Maths curriculum.
These factors, along with the use of formative and summative assessments to inform teaching, as well as the need for intervention or additional challenge ensures the success of each child.